Population: 47.4 million (July 2013 est.)
GDP: €1.005 tillion (2013)
GDP/capita: €21,791 (2013)
Capture: 757,829 tonnes live weight (2012, Eurostat)
Aquaculture: 266,593 tonnes live weight (2012, Eurostat)
Exports: Value: €3,040,131 (2011, FAO)
Imports: Value: €5,309,169 (2011, FAO)
Overview of the Spanish fisheries and aquaculture sector
The Spanish fishing fleet is made up of around 13 000 vessels, the 3rd largest in the EU with Galicia representing almost 50% of all vessels followed by Andalusia (ca. 15%), Catalonia and the Canary Islands (both with ca. 9%). In terms of value, the most important fish species are tuna, albacore, and needlefish followed by coastal fish; cod, hake, herring, sardines, and anchovies. Crustaceans and molluscs consisting of prawns, shrimp, squid, cuttlefish, and octopus are ranked third. Fishing provides employment to roughly 41 500 people (0.24% of the total employed in Spain) but maintains an unemployment rate of 7.2%, well below the average of the Spanish economy (24.63%, registered in the second quarter of 2012).
Spain is the EU Member State with the highest volume of aquaculture production: 271 963 tonnes in 2011, however, when considering the value of the products, Spain ranks fourth with €457.3 million, behind the United Kingdom, France, and Greece. The largest source of aquaculture in Spain is the mussel (Mytilus galloprovincialis ), which produced 212 556 tonnes in 2011, far above any fishery product. As for finfish farming the top three species were seabream, rainbow trout and sea bass. Employment in the aquaculture sector consisted of 27 180 people in 2011 with a total number of 5 120 aquaculture facilities showing a steady reduction in the number of farms over the last years. Marine aquaculture made up 1 935 direct jobs in 2012, an increase of 3.8 % compared to 2011, while inland aquaculture increased 12.5 % to 939 employees in 2011. A total of 109 200 tonnes of fish feed was used for aquaculture production in 2012.
The Spanish processing industry is a leader in the EU and the third largest in the international market showing an increase from 1996 to 2006 of 42% in gross terms and 81% in terms of income. The most important fish species for the processing industry are the tunas, followed by anchovies and sardines. The industry is mainly composed of medium sized companies mostly in the canning sector and to a lesser extent by frozen and fresh processed seafood. 513 companies were involved in the seafood processing industry in Spain in 2011. This is a 10% reduction compared to 2008. As a consequence of the decreased number of companies, employement also decreased 7% in the same period. Despite the crisis, Spanish seafood processing remains strong.
Spanish consumers focus mainly on fresh products but consumption of processed seafood is slowly increasing year by year. Being a traditional product, canned seafood is better accepted by consumers compared to frozen fish.
Fisheries and aquaculture in Andalucia and Catalonia - Securing the future of small fishing communities (December 2012)
The Spanish fishery industry is concentrated heavily in Galicia in the north west of the country. Not only is Galicia home to the port of Vigo, the EU’s most important in terms of volumes of fish landed, it also has important fish processing and aquaculture industries. Other regions, however, also have significant fishing and fish farming sectors with their own unique characteristics. Andalucía, the
southern-most region of Spain has both a Mediterranean and an Atlantic coast, and a unique artisanal tuna fishery, while Catalonia is developing a label for its production, highlighting its quality and the benefits of buying local.
In Andalucía the fisheries sector including production and processing amounts to only 0.25% of the economy, but in several towns and villages along the coast the sector contributes up to 90% of local
GDP and is therefore the mainstay of many of the small communities that populate these areas. With access to both the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea the size of Andalucía’s fishing fleet is second only to that of Galicia. Figures from the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment show that in 2011 the Andalucian fleet comprised 1,672 vessels amounting to 16% of the Spanish fleet compared to almost 5,000 vessels in Galicia (47.5% of the fl eet). The average age of vessels in the Andalucian fleet is 24 years. The majority of the Andalucian vessels (52%) are small, up to 10 m in length, while about 600 vessels (36%) are between 12 and 24 m in length. Since 2008 the number of vessels in the Andalucian fleet has fallen by 6.7% while the gross tonnage has decreased by 13.4%. In Catalonia along the Mediterranean the fleet in 2011 comprised 955 vessels or 9% of the Spanish fleet of which almost half (427) were less than 10 m. Catalonia too has seen a 9% decrease in the size of the fleet and a 3.2% decline in tonnage since 2008. To read the complete article on Fisheries and aquaculture in Andalucia and Catalonia in the Eurofish Magazine, click here.
Latest news about Spain in the Eurofish Magazine
Research, promotion campaigns, close links to government, & strong associations - Spanish aquaculture sector draws strength from different sources
Seabass and seabream farming in Croatia, Italy, Spain, and Turkey - Similar issues bedevil marine aquaculture throughout the Mediterranean
Alimentaria 2014, Barcelona - Food and drinks, a foundation of the Spanish economy
Spain: Hydro-acoustic measurements can give accurate biomass estimates
Spain: Top administration officials visit microalgae production site
Spain: Three shellfish zones reopened in Galicia
Seafood Barcelona - Quality bacalao combines Icelandic raw materials with Spanish chef
Conxemar - FAO Whitefish Congress in Vigo - Unique opportunity to explore market trends
Spain:Pescanova investors seize control
Aquaculture in Spain
Click here for more news on fisheries regarding Spain
Spanish coverage in the Eurofish Magazine
Other publications on Spain
Useful Links for Spain
- Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment
- Spanish Association of Wholesalers, Importers, Manufacturers and Exporters of Fish products and Aquaculture
• Spanish Oceanographic Institute
• Puertos del Estado
(Monthly statistics on post statistics including Fishing in tonnes - In Spanish)
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